Category: Collection Highlight

New Acquisition: David C. Herrin Photograph: Wanbdi Wanapeya (Eagle That Scares)

Photograph of Wanbdi Wanapeya (Eagle That Scares), member of the Lower Yanktonai, photographed by David C. Herrin. Recently acquired by University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives.

University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) recently acquired a rare photograph of Chief Eagle That Scares of the Lower Yanktonai, photographed by David C. Herrin of Portland, Oregon (1899-1901 residency).  In the dialect of the Lower Yanktonai, Eagle That Scares translates to the Native name, Wanbdi Wanapeya.  The Lower Yanktonai, or “Little End Village,” were additionally referred to as Hunkpatina.  As a smaller constituent of the larger Sioux Confederation originating in the lands of Minnesota, the Lower Yanktonai experienced numerous migrations and forced transplantations.  In the late nineteenth century, the Lower Yanktonai would come to reside largely in the Standing Rock reservation of North and South Dakota, the Crow Creek reservation of South Dakota, the Fork Peck reservation of Montana, the Spirit Lake reservation of North Dakota, and a smaller population of Yanktonai dispersed in Canada.  In their migrations, the Lower Yanktonai supported Sioux Confederation tribes materially, in intertribal relations, and in governmental matters, including negotiating federal policy with officials.  All were actions that effected a powerful confederacy of tribes diverging in interest and geographic location (Galler, 2008).

The photograph of Eagle That Scares was the work of photographer David C. Herrin, or D. C. Herrin.  David C. Herrin and his wife, Margaret, who was also a renowned photographer, operated several photography studios in their tenure as photographers.  Most notably, the Herrins owned a photography studio in The Dalles from 1892-1898, and in 1899 transplanted to Portland, Oregon, to open a photography studio in cooperation with famed photographer Frank G. Abell (Old Oregon, n.d.).  Abell-Herrin Co. operated approximately around the years of 1899-1901.  David C. Herrin was also quite active in the Ancient Order of United Workmen (AOUW) as grand official instructor (Historic Photo Archive, n.d.).  The AOUW was established post-Civil War as a “fraternal benefit society” providing insurance, including death benefits, to select members, mainly white (Wikipedia, 2020).

In 1893, David C. Herrin released a collection of scenic photographs, most prominently featuring the Columbia River and “Dalles people,” quoted from the Dalles Times Mountaineer, 10 October 1983 (Historic Photo Archive, n.d.).  The photograph of Eagle That Scares is one of a series of fifty-four photographs of Native Americans photographed by David C. Herrin.  The obverse of the photo of Eagle That Scares lists the names of the Native Americans featured in the series, as well as artist name and location.  The photo is an albumen print on a cabinet card.


Galler, R. W., Jr. (2008). Sustaining the Sioux Confederation: Yanktonai initiatives and influence on the Northern Plains, 1680-1880. Western Historical Quarterly, 39(4), 467-490.

Historic Photo Archive. (n.d.). Herrin, David C. (Ashland, Medford, Portland, The Dalles).

Old Oregon. (n.d.). David C. Herrin.

Wikipedia. (2020, June 4). Ancient Order of United Workmen.

— Written by Alexandra Mueller, Special Projects Archivist

New Acquisition: De naturae diuinis characterismis

Photo of title page of De naturae diuinis characterismis by Cornelius Gemma, acquisition of University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives

Cornelius Gemma (28 February 1535 to 12 October 1578) published several critically seminal works concerning topics of medicine, astronomy, astrology, and astrologic medicine.  Born in Leuven, Belgium, Gemma’s early roots were in the study of art, however his interests transitioned to medicine, a shift directly influential to his later works in astrologic medicine.  Gemma obtained his doctorate of medicine in 1570, succeeding some of the finest scholars of the field (Wikipedia, 2020)  Gemma’s concept of astrologic medicine was founded upon the belief that body parts, diseases, and drugs were all in some way associated with the sun, the moon, the planets, and astrological signs (Wikipedia, 2020).  In alignment with this theory, Gemma posited that human ailments and disease originated in atmospheric conditions and astral conjunctions (Wikipedia, 2020).

To Gemma, the world was the product of a marriage between the physical and the metaphysical, comprised of the cosmic body, the human body, and the body politic (Boner, 2008).  Gemma brought forth a unifying perspective to his work in making sense of the physical world.  He writes in De naturae diuinis characterismis, “Just as the three humors in the eye are all appointed to the faculty of a single organ of sight, so the organs of the other senses belong to the full bulk of one body” (Boner, 2008).

Photo of page from De naturae diuinis characterismis by Cornelius Gemma, acquisition of University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives

Gemma associated cosmic forces with matters of the earth and physical realm (Boner, 2008).  Stars had divine properties in their signs that were reflected in nature.  University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) has recently acquired a copy of Gemma’s formative work, De naturae diuinis characterismis; seu, raris & admirandis spectaculis, causis, indiciis, proprietatibus rerum in partibus singulis vniuersi, libri II, in which Gemma elaborates on the relationship of the cosmos to nature, on topics of medicine, and on narratives of unique medical manifestations (Wikipedia, 2020).  The work is wide-ranging in two volumes; he incorporates his theories of divine significance in nature and astrological portents into a novel field of science he refers to as “ars cosmocritica.”  The text is illuminated by woodcuts, contribution of Antwerp engravers Antoon van Leest and Gerard Janssen van Kampen.  De naturae diuinis characterismis; seu, raris & admirandis spectaculis, causis, indiciis, proprietatibus rerum in partibus singulis vniuersi, libri II may be located in the SCUA collection for use.

Photo of page from De naturae diuinis characterismis by Cornelius Gemma, acquisition of University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives

Both title pages have vignette (printer’s device) with motto: Constantia et labore (Persistence and hard work). Published also under title: Cosmocritice; seu, De naturae diuinis characterismis … Antuerpiae, 1575. Vol. 2 has title: Cornelii Gemmae … De naturae diuinis characterismis; seu, Raris, & admirandis spectaculis in vniuerso, tomus secundus, quem Ianum trifrontem placuit appelliari. Signatures: Vol. 1: A-P⁸; v. 2: a-s⁸ A-B⁸ (last blank). Purchased from Maggs Bros., Ltd.; London, February, 2020. UO Special Collections copy has ownership stamp of An[t or c?]. Maessenhausen at head of title page; bound in contemporary limp vellum, tacket binding, with yapp edges; title handwritten on spine; lacking ties.


Boner, P.J. (2008). Cornelius Gemma: Cosmology, medicine, and natural philosophy in Renaissance Louvain by Hiro Hirai. Renaissance Quarterly, 63(1), 234-236.

Wikipedia. (2020, August 22). Cornelius Gemma.

Wikipedia. (2020, June 30). Medical astrology.

Written by Alexandra Mueller, Special Projects Archivist


Emblem Book Collection

Emblem books are the result of a marrying between humanist philosophy, art, and the introduction of the printing press in Italy in the 15th century. An emblem can consist of a vignette, a proverb or title, an epigram, and accompanying illustrations. The subject of emblem books coincides with the humanist philosophy, including writings on Classical gods and heroes, personifications, animals, trees, and artifacts. (i)

Figure 1: School of Athens, Raphael, 1509-12, fresco, 500 cm × 770 cm (200 in × 300 in), Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican City. Wikipedia

Humanism, the study devoted to the advancement of the liberal arts through Classical texts, thrived in the literary, philosophical, educational, and artistic spheres in the Renaissance. Although not necessarily always humanists themselves, many Renaissance artists, such as Sandro Botticelli and Raphael, worked with humanist philosophers to circulate the Classical ideals to a larger, and often illiterate, audience. One of the most famous examples of Renaissance humanist art is Raphael’s School of Athens (figure 1). The primary way Renaissance humanists spread their philosophy was through printed books, using the Italian printing press, the Aldine Press (f. 1493). Not only did the printing press increase literacy, and therefore the audience, but the amount of publishing humanist writers increased as well. (ii)

Andrea Alciati (1492 –1550) was one of these authors. Alciati was an Italian lawyer, writer and scholar who applied humanist methods to his legal studies. His most successful publication, which would eventually be the first emblem book, was the Emblem liber, written in 1520-21. It was a collection of Latin epigrams – a satirical poem or statement with a witty ending – a third of which were based on the major anthology of Greek epigrams, the Anthologia Graeca. However, the Emblem liber, was never meant for the public but rather for Alciati’s circle of friends and acquaintances. Without Alciati’s consent, the printer Heinrich Steiner (1522-1548) not only published the work in 1531 but added an illustration for each epigram for higher appeal. Thus, the first emblem book was made. (iii)

Figure 2:Emblem I: Shield of the Duke of Milan, Omnia Andrea Alciati V.C. Emblemata, woodcut print, 1583. Photo by author

The University of Oregon Special Collections and Archives has two copies of Alciati’s Emblem liber, Omnia Andreae Alciati V.C. Emblemata: Cum commentariis, quibus Emblematum omnium aperta origine, mens  authoris explicatur, & obscura omnia dubiaque illustrantur, (iv) printed in Paris, 1583, and Andrea Alciati Emblemata cum Comentariis (v), printed in Padua, 1621. Both books contain epigrams and small introductory essays from the publishers and editors, essays discussing the use of symbols and emblems, and an introduction to Alciati’s life and his emblems. The first emblem (figures 2 and 3) is an epigram on the symbolism of the Duke of Milan’s shield. Both copies contain 212 emblems total.

Figure 3: Emblem 1: Shield of the Duke of Milan, Andrea Alciati Emblemata cum Comentariis, woodcut print, 1621. Photo by author

With its origins in humanist philosophy, an emblem book can also be unrestrained by a singular topic, such as Hieroglyphica, Sive Antiqua Schemata Gemmarum Anularium by Fortunius Licetus (1572-1657), published in Padua, 1653 (figure 4), also in the university’s collection. Licetus was an Italian doctor and scholar who taught at universities in Pisa and Padua. Although his writing was frequently questioned and disputed by his academic colleagues for his questionable research tactics, Licetus wrote on a large range of subjects including astronomy, light, monsters, gynecology, mysticism, numismatics, and gems. Hieroglyphia is presented in sixty subdivided “schema” which considers the many and diverse aspects of human intellect such as morality, education, and philosophy. Each subject is introduced by a copper engraved vignette, many of which are highly allegorical and are accompanied by aphorisms.

Figure 4: Portrait of Fortunius Licetus in Hierglyphica, Giovanni Georgi, 1657, engraving. Photo by author

Although not considered part of the genre in the Renaissance and Baroque eras, another type of emblem book is a book of devices. A device – also known as an impresa – is similar to a medieval coat of arms – it consists of a personal symbol, usually with an accompanying motto, that adorned shields, badges, and buildings of the owner. However, a device differs from a coat of arms because a device is not inheritable and is used to represent an individual rather than a family A book of devices described various contemporaneous devices by explaining the symbolism behind the imagery and motto. (vi)

The University of Oregon Special Collections and Archives has one book of devices, De l’art des devices by Pierre le Moyne (1602-1671), published in Paris, 1666. (vii) Le Moyne was a French Jesuit preacher and author and staunchly differentiated emblems from devices: “there is nothing that is common between them, not in their content, their form, or their purpose.” (viii) The book opens with an epistle to the cardinal and archbishop of Reims, Antoine Barberin (1607-1671), a member of the prominent House of Barberini. Prior to the devices is an extensive explanation and discussion on devices, split into five books with multiple chapters. The “Cabinet de Devises” begins with a letter to Julie d’Angennes, Duchess of Montausier (1607-1671). Prior to each device is a sonnet about the device or a brief explanation by le Moyne. Under each device is an explanation behind the motto and symbolism.

Figure 5: Frontispiece, De l’art des devices, Jean Le Pautre, 1666, engraving. Photo by author.

Our collection includes a text that contains devices, or impresas due to its Italian origin, used in a practical, rather than explanatory, context. The Prose de’ signori accademici Gelati di Bologna (ix) is a collection of writings on various subjects by the members of the Accademia dei Gelati, or the Academy of the Frozen Ones, from Bologna, Italy, published in 1671. The group takes its name from the frozen wood in its impresa (figure 6) and was founded in 1588. The Prose is an example of their later writing style which tended towards more religious themes and a Baroque style of writing. (x) Each of the fifteen members of the group tackle a different subject, ranging from a herald’s family arms to moral philosophy. Each subject is prefaced by the impresa of the authored member. The lack of explanation to the member’s impresas is where this text differs from le Moyne’s De l’art des devices; the impresas are used as a means of self-identification and do not appear to contribute to the corresponding text. For example, the first chapter on tournaments and riding is written by Berlinghiero Gessi (1563-1639), a Catholic cardinal and professor of law at the University of Bologna.

Figure 6: Frontispiece, Prose de’ signori accademici Gelati di Bologna – Emblem of the Accademia dei Gelati, Lorenzo Tinti after Agostino Carraci, engraving, 1671. Photo by author.

The University of Oregon’s collection demonstrates the extensive sub-genres of the emblem book. From a copy of the original emblem book by Andrea Alciati to emblems and impresas utilized in a practical context, these five books are an excellent window into the literature and book art of the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods in France and Italy.

Written by Zoey Kambour, a second-year master’s student in the History of Art & Architecture at the University of Oregon and a Special Projects Cataloger for the University’s Special Collections and University Archives.


[i] “Alciati, Andrea,” Grove Art Online, accessed August 12, 2020,

[ii] “Humanism | Grove Art,” accessed August 12, 2020,

[iii] “Alciati, Andrea.”

[iv] Andrea Alciati, Omnia Andreae Alciati V.C. emblemata cum commentariis: quibus emblematum omnium aperta origine, Postrema hac editione in melioré formam redacta, multis sublatis médis summa cum diligentia excusa. (Parisiis: Apud Hieronymum de Marnef, & Viduam Gulielmi Cavellat sub Pelicano monte DHilarij, 1583)

[v] Andrea Alciati, Andreae Alciati Emblemata: cum commentariis Claudii Minois … Francisci Sanctii Brocensis … & notis Laurentii Pignorii … opera et vigiliis Ioannis Thuilii. (Patavii: Apud PPTozzium, 1621)

[vi] Robin Raybould, “Emblem and Device,” in An Introduction to The Symbolic Literature of The Renaissance (Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing, 2005), 249–96.

[vii] Pierre Le Moyne, De l’art des devises (A Paris: Chez Sebastien Cramoisy & Sebastien Mabre Cramoisy, imprimeurs ordinaires du Roy, ruë saint Iacques aux Cicognes, 1666)

[viii] Le Moyne, 220, translated from French.

[ix] IAccademia dei Gelati Bologna, Prose de’ signori accademici Gelati di Bologna … colle loro imprese anteposte a’ discorsi (Bologna: Per li Manolessi, 1671)

[x] Maurice Slawinski, “Gelati, Accademia Dei,” in The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature (Oxford University Press, 2002),

New Acquisition: Civilian Exclusion Posters

Photo of “Civilian Exclusion Order No. 41” poster acquired by University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives

The December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan set into course a cascading release of executive orders and exclusion orders that effectively functioned to segregate and intern Japanese Americans, citizen or noncitizen, in internment camps.  Such actions were propelled, in part, by fears of allegiance to Japan, posing threat to the United States, despite lack of concrete foundation to such assertions. Italians and Germans were also selectively targeted for internment or deportation.

One of the first dominoes in the chain was Executive Order 9066 issued by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942 (Nakamoto, 2015).  The executive order did not operate as an official exclusion order, but instead gave power to the Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, to enact exclusion orders. An excerpt from Executive Order 9066, President Franklin Roosevelt declares,

“I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion.” (Nakamoto, 2015)

Following Executive Order 9066, General John DeWitt of the Western Defense Command released Public Proclamation No. 1 that designated the first “military areas” from where Japanese Americans were to be excluded.  While the government deemed the behest of the orders a “voluntary evacuation,” the reality was starkly antithetical to such a claim, and the orders undeniably transgressed the legal rights of Japanese Americans (Nilya, n.d.).

Though Public Proclamation No. 1 is the one of the earliest in a broad series of civilian exclusion orders following Executive Order 9066, General DeWitt was calculating in his intentions with Japanese Americans, before any executive orders were officially released by President Franklin Roosevelt.  General DeWitt proposed the removal of Japanese Americans as early as December 19, 1941, and by the time of January 7, 1942, General DeWitt had defined and designated 86 military areas from where he proposed Japanese Americans be removed.  By February, General DeWitt’s military adjutant, Allen Gullion, persuaded Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy of the deleterious presence of Japanese Americans and plans for mass exclusion.  Secretary of War Henry Stimson, convinced by these baseless claims, perpetrated the objectives of General DeWitt and was the final persuading influence of President Franklin Roosevelt in the fateful days of February 1942 leading up to the release of Executive Order 9066 (Nilya, n.d.).

The cascading civilian exclusion orders demanded evacuation of Japanese Americans from defined military areas, offering only a few days to a week for Japanese American families to prepare.  Japanese Americans were to renounce nearly all belongings, allowed to bring only what could be carried. The Federal Reserve Bank was authorized to liquidate their assets often for much less than its market value. Public postings of civilian exclusion posters purposely humiliated and degraded Japanese Americans.

University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) has acquired several civilian exclusion posters delineating orders for Japanese Americans, one of which Civilian Exclusion Order No. 41, and the other, Instructions to all Persons of Japanese Ancestry.  Civilian Exclusion Order No. 41 reads,

1. Pursuant to the provisions of Public Proclamations Nos. 1 and 2, this Headquarters, dated March 2, 1942, and March 16, 1942, respectively, it is hereby ordered that from and after 12 o’clock noon, P.W.T., of Monday, May 11, 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry, both alien and non-alien, be excluded from that portion of Military Area No. 1 described as follows…

Fear of espionage and outright discrimination are reflected in the civilian exclusion orders that removed the majority of Japanese Americans from the West Coast. Civilian exclusion posters serve as stark artifacts of this period and reminders of the lengths to which people may go to oppress and subjugate one another based on fear and prejudice.

A related post published in the SCUA blog, World War II and the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council discusses the effects of Japanese exclusionary laws on Japanese American university students on the west coast.


Nakamoto, A. (2015, June 17). Executive Order 9066 vs. Civilian Exclusion Order. Japanese American National Museum.

Nilya, B. (n.d.). Civilian exclusion orders. Densho Encyclopedia.

Nilya, B. (n.d.). John DeWitt. Densho Encyclopedia.

Written by Alexandra Mueller, Special Projects Archivist

New Acquisition: Narrating the Black Experience: Cane

Photo of binding of Cane by Jean Toomer, illustrated by Martin Puryear. Recent acquisition of University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives.

Jean Toomer was a masterful historiographer and writer of black history and culture.  His seminal publication, Cane, embodied his devotion to narrating the black experience and to applying a critical eye to past history of oppression and prejudice in order to preserve and crystallize history as it was, before its true reality is erased by the present.  Essayist and contributor (afterword) to Cane, Prof. Leon Litwack (UC Berkeley) comments on Jean Toomer, Cane, and twentieth century racism, writing,

“In coming to grips with the present, Jean Toomer insisted on confronting the past and exploring the heritage of slavery to its very roots in ways that would avoid both condescension and romanticization.  Looking about him, he sensed an agrarian folk culture deeply rooted in the slave experience.  There was still time, he thought, to explore that culture, indeed the very soul and spirit of the black South, before urbanization and industrialization rendered it unrecognizable.”

The novel Cane received high praise and acclaim following its publishing, however such acclaim was not reflected in the number of books sold.  Jean Toomer himself laid latent for some time after its publishing and only resurfaced years later as a burgeoning interest in black history and culture in the 1960’s emerged.  Cane remains a work of unique and paramount stature and is elusive in its form, for it is many things – a novel, work of poetry, a drama, an illustrated work.  It takes place in rural Georgia, urban Washington, D.C., among other places.  The beauty of the work lies in its multifaceted nature, speaking to the reader in a variety of forms.

Photo of page from Cane by Jean Toomer, illustrated by Martin Puryear, containing photographs of author, Jean Toomer, and illustrator, Martin Puryear. Recent acquisition of University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives.

Cane is augmented by the work of Martin Puryear, a prominent American sculptor.  Martin Puryear was enamored by Cane, read during his initial years residing in the South and teaching at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.  Puryear’s contributions to Cane include woodcuts as accompanying illustrations; there are seven larger images portraying women featured within the novel, and three smaller images resembling the enigmatic arcs Jean Toomer utilized to divide sections within the work in the first edition.

While this remains Jean Toomer’s most conspicuous work, it is important to note Toomer’s other literary endeavors, including autobiographies and other fiction, drama, poetry, and essays.  He published one other work, Essentials, in 1931, a collection of aphorisms.  The breadth of black history and culture portrayed in Cane begs examination and continued study today.  The complementary pairing of Jean Toomer’s illuminative text and Martin Puryear’s woodcut illustrations creates for the reader an experience incomparable and truly distinctive.

Photo of illustration from Cane by Jean Toomer, illustrated by Martin Puryear. Recent acquisition of University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives.

The book was produced by The Arion Press, considered the nation’s leading publisher of fine-press books. Founded in San Francisco in 1974 by Andrew Hoyem, it has published 116 limited-edition books, most printed by letterpress, often illustrated with original prints by notable artists. This edition of Cane was limited to 400 numbered copies (ours is No. 343) with each copy signed by the artist, Martin Puryear. The text type is Times New Roman Bold with long descenders, composed in Monotype; the display type is Lucian Bold, composed by hand. The text paper is Biblio, mould-made in Germany; the print paper is Kitakata, handmade in Japan. The text was printed on a Miller TW cylinder press; the woodblocks were printed on a Vandercook Universal III proofing press. The book was designed by Andrew Hoyem and is the 59th publication of the Arion Press.

Written by Alexandra Mueller, Special Projects Archivist